Good morning all! Thanks for stopping back by to see what we’re up to today! We’ve recently had an epiphany about extracurricular activities that we wanted to share with you all.
Tigger has been enrolled in gymnastics classes off and on for the past three years. We initially enrolled her because she was extremely flexible but also extremely clumsy and we wanted her to learn some coordination and balance. I remember her first day well. She cried the entire class and wouldn’t leave my side to go out on the floor with the group. (It was mortifying.)
Eventually, though, she got used to the class environment and started enjoying it. And, sure enough, her balance got better, she started learning how to take instruction from adults other than me, and she became comfortable with the other students. Mission accomplished! Or so I thought.
Every spring, the class holds a performance where they show off everything they’ve learned. The picture you see above is from Tigger’s first performance. As you can see, she got a trophy, as did all the other kids. But if you look at her face, you can see something’s not quite right about her smile. That’s because she twisted her ankle partway through the performance. While this is a perfectly normal thing to happen during a gymnastics performance, we were surprised that it happened because she said nothing to us until it was over.
She wanted to return to classes, so we re-enrolled her the following fall. And when it was time for the annual performance, she did well through the entire rotation until the final apparatus. This time, she fell and broke her leg. Christopher Robin ended up carrying her out of the gym and directly to the ER. She did get her trophy, though.
This past fall, she was anxious to get back to classes once her cast came off, so we enrolled her again. Since we initially started, though, the class sizes have gotten huge and the students now outnumber the instructors by at least 15 or 20 to 1. Which isn’t the safest thing in the world to me. A couple of weeks ago, she twisted her ankle yet again. However, when she told her coach about it, he told her to “take a break”. That’s it. Not to go tell her parents. Not to sit down and elevate her leg. “Take a break”.
Tigger also told us that she had gotten tired before she injured herself, but that she didn’t think she could say anything since she was supposed to finish her rotation. Christopher Robin and I were livid. And then we realized that it’s not the instructor’s job to watch out for her. It’s our job. So, this will be the last year she does gymnastics – at least at that facility. We’re not trying to raise an Olympian, after all.
Jesus made an excellent point at Luke 14:28: “Who of you that wants to build a tower does not first sit down and calculate the expense, to see if he has enough to complete it?” Well, we’ve ‘counted the cost’ of this particular extra-curricular activity and, for now, it’s too high for our child.
Have you ever had to re-evaluate the value of an extra-curricular activity? How have you balanced these experiences with your overall goal as a family? Let us know in the comments!
Keep on learning!